Chef Craig Strong Opens Ocean at Main in Laguna Beach

Chef Chef Craig Strong opened Ocean at Main in Laguna Beach in October, fulfilling a long-time career dream to open his own restaurant. The location is 222 Ocean Avenue near Main Beach, and the 126-seat, 4,500-square-foot eatery is open daily for lunch and dinner (and now serves weekend brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, 10 to 3).

Coming Full Circle…After nearly 25 years of working at luxury hotels and resorts around the globe (including Studio at Montage Laguna), Strong has come full circle to his native Southern California roots.

Inside dining and on the patio.  Mr. Wonderful and I like to sit next to the fountain on the patio. He starts with a snazzy Manhattan and I have the St. Clair (vodka+St Germain+Cucumber+Mint). Note that the restaurant is in a historic building,  an early 1940’s building designed by Aubrey St. Clair that once housed the Laguna Federal Savings and Loan.

The Chef Says…“I want to cook for our guests the way I cook for my family and friends at home. At Ocean at Main, I will celebrate the diversity, freshness and healthy lifestyle of Southern California. We will procure our ingredients from the local farmers and meat, seafood and specialty vendors whom I have been working and collaborating with for years. Coaxing the true flavors from exceptional products is always my goal.”

It’s really difficult to select my favorite dishes, because I haven’t had anything that I haven’t loved.  Here’s a small taste:

Charred Spinach Octopus with Cauliflower Ratatouille (Chef once worked in Barcelona, Spain at the prestigious Arts)

 

Dungeness Crab Cavatelli (pasta made fresh in house)

Oxtail Kale Risotto – Register critic Brad Johnson named this his “best dish of  the week.”

Best Spinach Salad around in my opinion – delicious Bloomsdale spinach – crunch comes from fried calamari – perky from vinaigrette – YUM

Ocean at Main, 222 Ocean Avenue, Laguna Beach

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